Porterdale approves 2012 budget

PORTERDALE -- The City Council approved a budget resolution Thursday night that sets the city's 2012 general fund budget at $832,415.

The general fund budget and budgets for the water and sewer department and sanitation department were approved unanimously. Councilman Robert Foxworth was absent from the meeting.

In the general fund budget, most city revenues are expected to come from property tax and the local option sales tax. Property taxes are budgeted at $215,000 and LOST revenues are budgeted at $195,000. Franchise taxes from utility companies are expected to generate a total of $113,000, and motor vehicle tax is budgeted at $19,000. The insurance premium tax is budgeted at $64,000.

Personnel costs make up the largest percentage of the expense budget. The city's 16 full-time and part-time employees are budgeted to earn $497,588 in salary and benefits in 2012, which represents 60 percent of the general fund expense budget.

The city's total payroll expense includes continuing employee furloughs of four hours per week, saving the city $32,123 for the year.

City Manager Bob Thomson has recommended that the council continue the furloughs until the city has a better idea of what cash flows will be like in the new year.

The Police Department has the most employees of any department at five full-time positions and one part-time position, with a total payroll budgeted at $217,404.

The 2012 budget also calls for reduced expenditures for attorney fees by $20,000. Attorney fees are budgeted at $10,000 for the year, which includes a retainer of $4,800. New spending in the budget includes $5,000 for GIS mapping of storm drains that is required by the state Environmental Protection Division, and $10,000 for sidewalks and construction of handicap ramps. Both of those expenditures will be funded through 2005 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax dollars.

The sanitation fund is budgeted to generate revenues of $133,112, with expenditures of $132,258. The water and sewer fund is budgeted at revenues of $601,305 and expenditures of $599,204.

The council agreed at a meeting earlier this month to approve the budget resolution in order to get a balanced budget in place and keep the city in compliance with the state Department of Audits. The council agreed to revisit the budget in January so that new council members Tim Savage and Anita Rainey could be included in the final drafting of the spending plan.

The City Council will hold its first regular meeting of 2012 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall on Jan. 9, followed by a work session on Jan. 10 for budget discussion. The city will hold a planning retreat on Saturday, Jan. 14.